Interview with a Navy Officer

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Have you ever wondered that you don't spend enough time with your grandparents? Do you think that you take them for granted? Have you ever had a conversation with them about their past? Well, I decided I wanted to spend time with my grandpa and ask him about his experience in the Korean War. I learned many things that I didn't know about him and I felt closer to him just by that little conversation.



What made you want to join the Navy?

It was drafting time. I decided to join the Navy before they chose for me.



What was your job in the Navy?
I was a pipe fitter on a Navy ship. Most of the time I had to clean decks. My ship was called the USS Minos.



Did you eat any unfamiliar foods there?

I never had to eat foreign foods. The food was sent to us on the ship. It was food like back home.




How old were you when you joined the Navy? What years did you serve?

I was 21 years old. I served from 1951 to 1954 when the war got over. We were on are way to war but I got sent back because I got the chicken pox.




Did you have any good friends in the war?

Yes. I had no local friends that went to war with me. I made friends from all over in boot camp and on my ship. I lost track of them when they were sent to war and I couldn't go.



Did you see anyone die from your unit?(Someone you knew)

No. I had no war activity because of the chicken pox and I was on my ship the whole time for three and a half years.


What time did you have to get get up in the morning?

5:00 AM.


What time did you get to go to bed at night?
Around 9:00 PM. We were on a watch at night on the gangway and the deck, so sometimes we didn't get to go to bed.



What was your routine during the day?
I cleaned and polished brass on the ship during the day. We also had inspections during the day. At night we were on watch.



Where you dating anyone while you were at war?

I met your grandma, Gloria Krumm, when I came back for boot leave and I met her at a dance. I never saw her or heard from her for six years until I got back. We got married about two years after I got back.



How often did you get to talk to your family or significant other?

My parents got mad at me for not writing them and letting them know how I was doing, so I wrote them. I wasn't much of a writer.


Did you learn any life lessons at war?

No, because I didn't get to see or do much from being on the ship all the time.



What countries did you get to travel to?

I was on the ship for three and a half years. I traveled to Great Lakes, Illinois, for boot camp. I also traveled to Norfolk, Virginia and Bermuda.


Thinking back, was going to the Navy a good decisions for you?

My uncle Clifford was a “big wheel” in California and he thought it was great I was in the Navy because he was a chief in the Navy. I thought it was a great decision for me to see some country because I never got out of South Dakota until I joined the Navy.


If you could go back and do it again, is there anything you would change?

No, I would've wanted to travel more and actually get off of the ship. I was kinda glad to get chicken pox so I didn't have to actually go to war.



Did you get any special awards for being in the Navy?

No, because I was on the ship all the time.



Did you go to school before or after the war?

I went to six weeks of pipe fitter school on the base, and I didn't go to high school because I was busy working.



Did you get any benefits (GI Bill)?

We were able to get benefits at the VA Hospital in Sioux Falls but that's about it.



What were your sources of transportation there?

I didn't go to the war. My only source of transportation was the ship. We got taxied downtown from the base, but I had a car there for a while.


What did you do for entertainment/ activities?

We watched movies. Dice and card games were available but I didn't participate because it was gambling.





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